Allamah (knowledgeable in Many Fields of Knowledge)
Now what can I say about that! These guys are only trying to go one better than the Ulamas. Slightly more knowledge in a few more fields of knowledge, and hey presto! One is an Allamah.
There are unknown number of sciences and branches of knowledge that cannot even be imagined. Why do these guys think that they are knowledgeable in many fields of knowledge, when the total sum of their knowledge is not even a drop in the ocean?
From history, this was first displayed from the School of the Holy Imam Ja'far Al Sadiq (a.s.). Numerous subjects were taught including mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy etc. Try questioning the Allamahs of today on any of these and see for yourself what answers you get. The Holy Imam (a.s.) only displayed a drop of the knowledge that he (a.s.) had. These Allamahs only have a drop from this drop, and that is all they have.
AL KAFI - H 44, Ch. 2, h1
Muhammad ibn al-Hassan has narrated from Ali ibn Muhammad from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Muhammad ibn 'Isa from 'Ubayd Allah al-Dihqan from Durust al Wasiti from Ibrahim ibn 'Abd al-Hamid from abu al-Hassan Musa , recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: "Once the Holy Prophet, recipient of divine supreme covenant, entered the Mosque and found a group of people gathered around a man. He asked, 'Who is he?' It was said that he was an Allama.
Then he asked, 'What is that?' They replied that he is an expert in genealogy, chronology, and the history of the pre-Islamic days of darkness and poetry of Arabs. The Holy Prophet, recipient of divine supreme covenant, then told them, 'There are only three kinds of Knowledge: A decisive Verse, a justly enjoined obligation or an established tradition. Other than these are only something extra.'"
Historically there have been some good Mullahs who have been caught up in this name game. One such example is the famous Mullah Muhammad Baqir Al Majlisi of the Bihar Ul Anwar fame. The reference of Allamah was allocated to him after his death.
This is a very serious trend that has come up recently that all those Sheykhs and Mullahs of old are now being referred to with these titles in the new publications. Sheykh Kulayni, Sheykh Toosi, Sheykh Sadouq etc are now been referred to as Ayatullahs, whereas historically they have always been known simply as Sheykhs.
How many fields of knowledge are there? How many is 'many' out of all the fields of knowledge?
Can having a small amount of knowledge of a small number of them make one an Allamah?
How come these Allamahs do not have the knowledge of the subjects that were taught by the Holy Imam Ja'far Al Sadiq (a.s.)? Are they experts in the genealogy, chronology, pre-Islamic history and the poetry of the Arabs?
A'alam (The Most Knowledgeable)
Whatever that can possibly be learnt in matters of religion, this guy is supposed to know it. He is regarded as the most knowledgeable among all the Ulamas and is a step ahead of the Allamahs.
So he just sits there basking in the glory of being referred to as the A'alam on the presumption that no one is more knowledgeable that him. Maybe someone should remind him that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is still around and that he (a.s.) has only gone into occultation.
But it is common knowledge among the Shiites that their Holy Imam (a.s.) is still alive and is their Divine Guide whose return from occultation is eagerly awaited. And so I have no choice but to conclude that 'the most knowledgeable one' is surely aware of this. He has therefore deliberately adorned himself with this title despite being aware that there is the person of the Holy Imam (a.s.) who is actually the A'alam.
If the Ulamas are not the Ulamas, then what does that make the most knowledgeable of them all?
Why has this 'A'alam' deliberately ignored the fact that in actual fact Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is more knowledgeable that he will ever be? Is he trying to tell us that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) does not actually exist and therefore he is now the A'alam?
ALAM UL HUDA (THE BANNER OF GUIDANCE)
Give me a break! This was one of the titles used by Imam Ali (a.s.). How can anyone else use this title for himself I shall never know.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said: O Ali! You are the Banner of Guidance and the Light of Religion and that is the Light of Allah (s.w.t.) - Bihaar Ul Anwaar Vol 22 Incidentally this title is commonly used for Syed Murtadha, the pioneer Mujtahid of over a thousand years ago. He was a student of the Mu'tazilite teacher Asadabadi and started Ijtihad using the principles of Imam Shafei. His brother Syed Razi (compiler of Nahj Ul Balagah) did not agree with him and refused to pray behind him.
As the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) used this title for Imam Ali (a.s.), then where is the justification of using it for ordinary people?
How can anyone possibly justify using this title for someone other than a Holy Infallible (a.s.).